In Memoriam

You know I usually talk about the women in my family, but not today. Today, I want to talk about my stepdad Herb. Herb and my mom were married my freshman year of high school. Until that point I didn’t have a constant male role model in my life. He filled the role treating me like I was his own. He taught me how to fish, and to drive and how to take care of a car. Come to think about it, he sold me my first two cars. He introduced to me to gardening and lawn care. He also taught me a few of his recipes. To this day, his chocolate pie is by far my favorite.

Last night he passed away with my mom by his side. These are his recipes. I will remember him, and the life lessons he taught me every time I make them.

“Almost” Skyline Chili

2 lbs. ground beef

1 qt + 1 c. tomato juice                                     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1 Tsp cinnamon, ground

1 Tsp cumin, ground

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tsp allspice, ground

4 Tsp chili powder

1 Tsp black pepper, ground

1 Tsp salt

1 Tsp + 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

5 whole bay leaves

1 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 30 chips depending on the size of the chips

1 onion, peeled and left whole

Place ground beef and tomato juice in a large, high sided pot. Using clean hands, break the ground beef up into small crumbles. Add all the spices to the meat/juice mixture; stir to combine. Add the whole onion, press toward the bottom of the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 2 hours.

After the two hours has past, you have a choice to make. You can:

  • Cool slightly and skim off the grease that has floated to the top. Serve immediately. You can use this chili on just about anything, but sticking with tradition you should serve it over spaghetti with various toppings. Each topping add is considered to be a  “Way.” Adding cheese to the chili and pasta is called a 3- Way. The most common toppings are: cheddar cheese, oyster crackers, minced onions, diced tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers. There is no limit or restricts to what you can add to it.
  • Cool the chili over night. Skim off any grease that has settled on the top. Divide into freezer containers and freeze.

You can easily double or triple this recipe to have it both ways.


(You can see the original post here.)

Herb’s Chocolate Pies

¾ c. all purpose flour

6 egg yolks (save the whites)

½ c. cocoa powder

1 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 stick butter or margarine, softened

4 c. whole milk or half & half

Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together, add to dry ingredients. Place all ingredients in top of double boiler, cook until thick*. Pour into 2 baked 9” pie shells. (Do not use deep dish shells.)

*If you don’t have a true double boiler, use a glass or stainless steel bowl over boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Keep in mind the bowl will be hot, so use a pot holder to remove it from the top of the pan. The thickness should coat the back of a spoon and should stay apart if u run your finger down the spoon. A little looser than cake batter.

For the meringue:

6 reserved egg whites

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 Tbsp.  sugar

1/8 tsp. cream of tarter

Mix all ingredients, whip whites to hard peaks. To test for hard peaks turn off the mixer, push the beaters into the center and pull up. If they do not fall back on themselves and hold a up right slightly curled form they are ready.Spread on top of pies.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


(You can see the original post here.)


5 thoughts on “In Memoriam

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss, that’s great you have some of his recipes saved. Skyine Chili is one of my faves, and we do it 5-way here. To us, that means spaghetti, chili, kidney beans, diced onions, and grated cheddar cheese. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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